This autumn, the seventh Sacred season of live art and contemporary performance at Chelsea Theatre premieres new work from interdisciplinary artists, who explore our taboos, examine assumptions about gender and family love, challenge public art policies and toy with the boundaries of multimedia. Some investigate consumption, compulsion, and mental health, and others wonder what happens when the label of ‘human’ no longer applies.
Priced between £5 and £10, performances will take place throughout the week with highlights including the award-winning duo Sh!t Theatre who use spoken word, song, satire, absurdity and movement to perform Guinea Pigs on Trial. Sh!t Theatre’s Becca and Louise have applied for drug trials as a fundraising strategy for their Fringe run, and to delve into the murky ethics of big pharmaceutical companies – asking is ‘guinea pigging’ a good cure for an empty bank account? And what happens when profit takes priority in the creation of medicine?
There is Aunty Ben, from Irish company Super Paua – a children’s drag act and playful exploration of gender, family, love and happiness for all audiences aged 7+ .
There’s exciting work from Chris Dugrenier, William Mackrell, Sylvia Rimat, Mamoru Iriguchi, Caroline Smith and Ernst Fisher, all part of a power-packed season starting and finishing with new commissions from the inimitable David Hoyle and by popular demand, Stacy Makishi.
Hoyle presents Nick Blackburn’s I, Victim: a portrait of a nation, extraordinarily rendered in conversation, stomach acid and blistering song, using his characteristic biting satire, bravura costumes, wicked comic timing and compelling charisma.
Stacy Makishi meanwhile returns to Chelsea Theatre with the world premiere of VesperTime, which incorporates Moby Dick, Hitchcock and Bjork’s album Vespertine in a striking new work where performance meets rock concert meets subversive sermon. The piece tackles Makishi’s one-time wish to become a missionary and offers up a ‘vesper’, a secular evening prayer shot through with her characteristic wit.
Sacred, until 29 November, Chelsea Theatre, Worlds End Place, London SW10 0DR.
For more information on Sacred at Chelsea Theatre, visit www.chelseatheatre.org.uk.
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1. Caroline Smith, Rita Grebe (2014). Courtesy of the artist and Chelsea Theatre.